B.C. targets innovation, job creation and training
"Innovation and entrepreneurship create jobs, diversify economic activity and help keep British Columbia globally competitive," Premier Christy Clark said. "One of the key challenges for small business is access to capital for business start-up and expansion. Through 'Canada Starts Here', B.C. will help small business access early-stage venture capital to help commercialize ideas, attract and retain employees, expand operations and bring their ideas to global markets."
B.C. intends to provide a $3-million increase to B.C.'s successful Small Business Venture Capital Tax Credit, targeted to direct investments in new businesses. This program encourages individuals - known as "angel investors" - to invest their own capital directly into an eligible small business and offer strategic expertise.
"The Small Business Venture Capital Tax Credit program was a key ingredient to Endurance's early success. The VCT, along with a strong business plan and a great team, helped us produce one of the world's safest, most reliable, and lowest cost of energy wind turbines here in B.C.," said Glenn Johnson, CEO of Endurance Wind Power Inc. The company's 3,700-plus square-metre (40,000-plus square-foot) Surrey facility employs 60 people. "Our turbines generate clean, renewable energy for homeowners, farmers, businesses and institutions across North America, the UK and an expanding global market."
The additional $3 million would boost the current $30-million annual tax credit budget for venture capital programs for small business, business, allowing for up to $10 million in additional equity capital for eligible new small businesses.
With more than one million job-openings in the province projected for the coming decade and emerging economic sectors creating new jobs, British Columbia needs a highly skilled workforce. The Province intends to deliver a three-year extension of its approximately $31-million annual funding for the B.C. Training Tax Credit program to help employers and apprentices get the skills and training they need. Continuing this funding through 2014 gives employers and apprentices the certainty they need to plan their business and education.
The Province will also continue its leadership in reducing the cumbersome steps and time involved in accessing government services and complying with regulatory requirements by:
- Extending government's commitment to no net-increases in regulations to 2015.
- Introducing legislation to ensure progress on regulatory accountability is reported annually.
- Reducing the regulatory burden on citizens and small businesses.
- Streamlining and simplifying government processes.
"This government has been a leader in cutting red tape, and we're committed to further streamlining government so that hard-working British Columbians can focus more time on running their business, and less time on paperwork and bureaucracy," Finance Minister Kevin Falcon said. "Drawing on this experience, I will ask an expert panel to take a broad look at B.C. taxes to make recommendations that help support business competitiveness, economic growth and jobs for British Columbians, as well as propose common sense administrative improvements to streamline the PST."
As part of a broader review of the provincial tax system, the Minister of Finance will lead a consultation with business leaders and experts to develop recommendations to help support a globally competitive, diverse economy that supports jobs and innovation within the Province's balanced budget framework. The resulting proposals would be considered for Budget 2012.
Premier Christy Clark's speech to the Surrey Board of Trade: http://snd.sc/qnSiXb